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Breaking news:
HMP eligible for historic protection! 


Arts Panel backs HMP design

The goals of our affinity group extend beyond simply saving the Harvey Milk Plaza from demolition and replacement.  We embrace refreshing all surfaces and improving the plaza and related green belt plus making the Milk memorial truly memorable. 

 

We support the LGBTQ Veterans in their quest to designate the area near Collingwood as a memorial.  We recognize the importance of protecting and replenishing the extensive landscaping and natural drainage at the stepped terraces known as Harvey's Garden.

 

We support SFMTA's ADA Compliance project for the station, plaza, and related Market St. bus stops.

OUR VISION

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When the Castro MUNI METRO subway station opened in 1980,  it featured a  transit plaza that has successfully served thousands of commuters and visitors to the Castro for 40 years.  In 1985, the plaza was dedicated to Harvey Milk, who was one of the first openly gay elected officials in the US and assassinated in 1978.
 
The full San Francisco Arts Commission voted unanimously on October 4, 2021 to approve Phase 1 and 2 of FHMP's demolish & replace plans for Harvey Milk Plaza. Not one comment in response to public comments pleading for consideration of climate change, transit patrons, Historical Resource Evaluation, or public preference for improvement over demolition!

This project is subject to an Environmental Impact Review.  One question it will have to answer is "Is there a less destructive alternative?"  Advocates have published a plan that demonstrates how Harvey Milk Plaza can fit within the FHMP plans while retaining their main features.
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The SF Planning Department has released a Phase I Historical Resource Evaluation as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) that concluded Harvey Milk Plaza is eligible for historic preservation!  A Phase II, environmental impact report is pending.

SAVE THE PLAZA

AND MAKE IT BETTER!

In the 36 years Harvey Milk Plaza has existed, we have witnessed the loss of so many businesses and institutions that gave the Castro its LGBT character: the Patio Cafe, All American Boy, The Elephant Walk, Worn Out West, The Center for Living, (insert your favorite here)...  And now the pandemic has made the Castro even more vulnerable. Previous FHMP plans estimated spending $10 - 20 million to demolish & replace the plaza and greenbelt!  Is it socially responsible to needlessly spend that huge sum when the plaza and memorial could be improved without demolition?

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Don't send the plaza to landfill!

How many people have made their first pilgrimage to gay mecca and arrived at the Castro station, walked out into the plaza past the Harvey Milk Memorial and climbed the broad stairs to witness Twin Peaks Bar and the iconic Castro Theater sign? To see Gilbert Baker's glorious rainbow flag flying above and to know they were "home"?  We may not know how much we'll miss it until the plaza and green belt are demolished and paved.

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Harvey Milk Memorial

  Want to help? 

Join our Facebook page and keep informed about all news related to the plaza;  comment and attend neighborhood and city agency meetings when the Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza plans are scheduled for review.

  To become an Advocate for Harvey Milk Plaza

  go to our facebook page:

Contact Us
IDEAS TO IMPROVE THE PLAZA

 

SFMTA has prepared plans indicating all the surfaces available for artwork that could make the Harvey Milk memorial worthy of the slain SF Supervisor.  The Castro transit plaza was dedicated to him in 1985 by the Friends of Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club (not to be confused with the Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza - a new group that uses the same name).  For 21 years, the memorial only consisted of a bronze dedication plaque! In 2006 three  panels of photographs were attached to a steel fence installed by MUNI to discourage the homeless.

There are many possibilities

to make it better!

At plaza level, a large wall can feature a mural, a living wall, or a water wall.  The station mezzanine could be free of advertising and feature Milk photographs and art.  A bust or statue of Harvey Milk could make a dramatic statement.

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Recreation of a mural by Johanna Poethig which was dedicated to Harvey Milk and the first AIDS victims in 1988.  It was painted over when the HM Recreational Center was remodeled.

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A transparent canopy over the plaza area with a roll down closure grille can be transparent to allow views of the 1925 old Bank of America beaux arts facade and views through to Collingwood for security purposes.

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The plaza bridge can be a protected historic site.  It features Harvey's name in large letters and one of its columns bears the memorial plaque installed when Dianne Feinstein, Harry Britt, and John Molinari dedicated the plaza in Milk's name in 1985!
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FHMP's designers have submitted plans for a Memorial Grove near Collingwood.  The 5 palm trees at the top could be dedicated to the gay men and women who served in five branches of the armed forces as The LGBTQ Veterans Grove.  Harvey was in the navy and Gilbert Baker the army.  Leonard Matlovich, the first openly gay military person to come out during the Don't Ask, Don't Tell period lived around the corner from the plaza.
 
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Please consider signing an initiative to support the creation of the nation's first LGBTQ Veterans Grove  and Harvey's Garden - A Watershed Garden.

Here are more ideas for artwork in the station

at mezzanine and platform level.

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A canopy over the plaza and Milk memorial.

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A digital display could feature Milk videos.
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A boarded up opening could be re-opened.
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Benches and planting at serpentine wall.
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Posters and art at mezzanine walls.
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Sculpture
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Art honoring Harvey.
 
SFMTA planned changes to HM plaza

 

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's ADA Compliance project will add an elevator on the south side of the station that will provide access to Market St. bus stops, sidewalk level, the station mezzanine, and MuniMetro platform

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SF Climate Change Initiatives

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PLAZA PREFERENCES POLLS

 

In January 2018, 152 residents of the Castro neighborhood responded to a poll posted on the Nextdoor website.  It asked what they would and wouldn't like to see happen to the Harvey Milk Plaza. 67% wanted an efficient connection between the MuniMetro station and street level transportation.  46% wanted green space.  Only 33% wanted a new gathering space!

(FHMP's primary goal)

       January 2018 Nextdoor poll

10%  Rebuild plaza to honor Harvey Milk

36%  Rebuild plaza w/ focus on transit

36%  Leave plaza mostly as is

19%  Leave plaza mostly as is with ADA changes
       August 2018 Google poll
 
37%  Improve existing plaza

53%  Improve plaza & memorial

24%  Demolish & replace HMP

PRESS REVIEWS

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POLISH DON'T DEMOLISH!
Preserve our LGBTQ history 
Respect Historical Resource Evaluation

Avoid years of demolition
and heavy construction

Respect the Castro Station
MUNI  METRO  patrons 
 
Preserve the mature planting 
from the plaza to Collingwood
 
Add a transparent canopy to
protect the escalator and stairs
 
Make the Harvey Milk memorial
truly memorable!

You don't have to demolish the plaza to properly honor Harvey !

 
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The existing plaza can work with the FHMP proposed "reimagining" of Harvey Milk Plaza!
 

HELP PRESERVE THE GREEN BELT

© 2021 Advocates for
Harvey Milk Plaza